From the thread, What Works, What Fails:
Three and a half weeks and 900+ posts later, things are finally slowing down. You guys are amazing. Now we need to hire an intern to sift through all of this raw data and collate it into a meaningful presentation.
Now it only took me a couple seconds to recognize that this was my true calling in life. I was going to summarize this thread into a meaningful presentation through interpretative dance a blog.
I'm going to summarize what I feel are the major highlights of the thread. I'm going to try to avoid things that are specific to one class or aren't huge issues. I will try to include some of my own biases, because I like my biases. They are fun. I've also only done the player's content side of things. Over this way is the DM side of things and summarized in Wrecan's blog.
I apologize if this list is short. I suppose it's easy to sum up the major things that we like about 4e because the major things we like about 4e affects everyone. Also, people really wanted to get their dislikes in because that's what you need to hear more.
In Post #6, Kilpatds probably highlights the major features that I like.
In Post #69, GreatFrito loves on Class/Racial Feats, Combat Styles, and Errata.
In Post #113, Alcestis talks about Errata. I especially liked his recommendation to add a "Report a Source Error"; though I might expand it further to be a gage of what needs errataed.
In Post #116, Timmeh talks about the powers he likes.
In Post #197, Vestras talks about healing surges, power formatting, and powers.
In Post #282, Keithric talks about the ways how the complexity of the game enhances his fun.
In Post #362, Undeadpool says, "the best part is that even the guys who post rude and obnoxious things directed at the designers or other posters love the game because it is freaken fun and it is a good game, there are some things that need some fixing, but overall this game kicks ass"
What Needs More Support (And Where?)
This is a really tricky part of the blog. In some ways, it appears that WoTC has expressed interest in supporting classes such as these, but in other ways, it appears that that support is unlikely to come. It's that uncertainty that I think causes a gap between what R&D thinks the players want and what the players actually want. I will say that many of these classes WORK. However, with a little bit more support, these classes could expand to fill many common concepts without the need for creating an entire subclass.
In general, Artificers need more class feats, especially at paragon and epic, errata to the Armor Daily Powers in D381 (underpowered), and proficency with military weapons.
Strength Clerics need 1-3 more paragon paths. I believe you can reasonably give all cleric military weapon proficencies.
Non-Shielding Swordmages need support for their mark retaliation and an at-will melee basic attack based off of a class feature or as an option for an at-will power.
Battleminds need an at-will option for a melee basic attack.
Assassins need their striker mechanic errataed to meet the expectations of normal strikers.
Runepriests and Psionic Power Point users need to do more damage with their at-will powers during epic. Runepriests also need some "non-Rune" feats and a little bit larger power selection.
Summoners need feats that add a meaningful addition to a daily resource and summons need to have strong control elements (in the case of controllers) or strong leadership elements (in the case of the Artificer). Furthermore, it is possible to write general feats that help summoned creatures, and these would be preferable to class feats in many, but not all, situations.
I hope I didn't miss anything; because I'm feeling like I did.
First; I'm going to point you to the "Book of Red" that was compiled during the thread. A huge shoutout goes to Joshua_Randall for compiling this and others for helping. For those unaware, Character Optimization Guides are often guides that critique feats and powers by themselves and compare them to the other options that you can take. The "Red" options are those that are either traps, terribly bad, or obsoleted by another option you can take at the same time.
In Post #1, Kilpatds summarizes the events of the previous, disfunct thread. He also quotes Herid's summary of the entire thread up until about post #800; which summarizes many of the Rules Questions and Overpowered Combinations that I did not feel I needed to mention directly. He also brings up many problems with 4e itself. These problems absolutely need to be fixed and should be considered High Priority.
In Post #7, Bgibbons explains why Slow and "Until End of Next Turn/Save ends" does not meet design expectations.
In Post #15, Erachima explains about damage and how strikers work and don't work. Multiple Damage Instances, Charging, and Critfishing are considered the biggest sources of damage.
In Post #17, The_Yakk gives a good solution to the problem of being able to use an opportunity action and a immediate action to the same trigger.
In Post #41, Timmeh talks about Critical Hit Range; and how the class feats that boost it are delivered unequally; and proposes a fix.
In Post #45, Style75 talks about Alchemy and Low HP Monsters.
In Post #52, LightWarden talks about At-Will Advancement and Alternative Ability Scores for Skills. A similar issue to At-Will Advancement is mentioned about Psionic classes at epic.
Linking to a spreadsheet, Kerrus shows the differences between Monsters and Players as they level up.
In Post #143, Alandmj talks about multiclass feats training skills. I remember my DM telling me that CustSupport told him that Skill Focus could be a meaningful replacement if you've already got the skill trained; and I've seen many groups use this houserule.
In Post #149, Crimson_Concerto talks about racial features and powers; and how they may encourage a narrow type of play.
In Post #160, Keithric talks about many of the issues above, but also Normal v. Optimized DPR.
In Post #301, Lady_Auralla talks about the general feel of what is going forward and what we've been hearing from WoTC lately. Also, many +1's. (Addendum from myself: I think you guys need to put your own stamp on D&D and not worry so much about the past. It seems like everyone, including players, is stuck in the 3e mindset, with worrying about edition wars and with 3e campaign settings and 3e classes. Go ahead and wow us. Don't make the old classics Try to make a new classic, like you did with the Warlord.)
In Post #383: Samrin says that wield needs to be officially defined (and that's all he/she wrote).
In Post #397: Litigation says to "Buff Other Options".
Other Issues that I did not see explained well:
Non-Shielding Swordmages: Aegis of Assault and Aegis of Ensnarement both seem really underpowered in terms of Mark Punishment. Aegis of Ensnarement suffers in comparision to other marks because attacks always increase in power beyond normal scaling. Aegis of Assault is just rather... underpowered. The "hit anyone no matter where they are" is nice, but the movement isn't enough to distinguish it from Immediate Interrupt attacks or from the Paladin's Divine Challenge/Sanction support that they receive.
Beastmaster Rangers: Rule of Cool would say Beastmaster Rangers are awesome. But they just don't feel all that awesome. Part of the issue is that their damage doesn't scale well. Another part is that the powers for Beastmasters kind of suck. I think R&D needs to take a good hard look and figure out something.
Basic Attacks: Ugghh. I think many many people agree that some classes/builds need basic attacks built in. The Battlemind and Assault Swordmage are the two worst offender that I think everyone except the most stubborn would agree on. Otherwise, I think that all classes that are able to make melee weapon at-will attacks should have a melee weapon basic, ranged weapon at-will have a ranged basic, etc. Why? Many of your magic items/feats/other allow people to make basic attacks along with Warlords granting basic attacks. By not having basic attacks built into classes, these items become less or not at all useful.
What Fails: Major Problems Overview
Many of the problems that I've noticed in this thread have dealt with issues relating to being able to play the concept you want at first level. For instance, basic attacks, math feats, and armor/weapon/implement proficencies all fall into this category. Fix these issues with errata, please. Anything that is completely necessarily to play a concept should be included in the class.
Math Feats: These feats are just must haves. They overshadow so many feats even they aren't necessary for keeping you on-par with monsters. Imagine a person creating a level 6 character. Of those 4 feats, what does that character have? Furthermore, many players play a very optimized game. At low levels, Math Feats really hurt their ability to play in these optimized games while still customizing their characters.
Multiple Untyped Damage Bonuses: This isn't just that untyped damage bonuses can be stacked; it is that they promote a certain character type. Charging bonuses are insanity when stacked.
Temporary Hitpoints Powers: Some powers are just non-options at high levels. Many Temporary Hitpoints granting powers are these. A secondary (or even primary) statmod of Temporary Hitpoints starts to get old in middle heroic and doesn't get better.
Zone Reintry: Damage Damage Damage.
Errata: I think a lot of people feel like you're unwilling to errata some stuff; and unwilling to look at the errata forums. Let me give you an example that I think sums up a lot of Char-Ops feelings about errata pretty well.
Schwalb: "Closing the loopholes is not unlike playing Whack-a-Mole. Loopholes keep popping up and smacking one down sends another jumping up. Plus, optimizers do what they do because they enjoy the challenge and live to show off their creativity and, in some cases, their mechanical genius to everyone they play with."
Unnamed Optimizer (paraphrased): The reason why we bring these abhorrently overpowered builds to conventions is to draw attention to these builds and get the developers to errata them.
Immediate Action/Opportunity Action Vagueness: I think Mr. Mearls has caught onto this one, at least a little, so I don't feel a need to describe it in depth. In essence, sometimes the timing of actions can make it difficult to tell if an immediate action power will be useful or not.
Differences between Optimized and Normal Characters: Probably the biggest issue; and it's a source of tension in the boards. Some players like to optimize and some people abhor it. But Optimized Characters and Normal Characters are too far apart. I think if you fix some of the major issues we presented, that you'll see a great improvement.
Save Ends v. Next Turn: Save Ends needs to be better. End of Next Turn is often better than Save Ends. Furthermore, the powers that are save ends are often Daily Resources; which causes problems with otherwise great powers.[ 864 views ]